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Hilda H. Hoffman-Salter (Wirth)

8/7/1924 - 2/1/2019
Service Details
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Ellensburg with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. The Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. Viewing will be all day Thursday also at the funeral home.
Obituary
Hilda Hildagarde (Wirth) Hoffman Salter died peacefully on February 1, 2019 at 94. Her loving family was with her in her final days. Hilda was born on August 7, 1924 at the family farmhouse in Connell, the fourth of five children born to Ernst & Hedwig (Traglio) Wirth, and the first birth to be attended by , as she often mused, “a real doctor”. She had many fond memories growing up on a wheat farm and waking in the early morning to the sounds of her father and hired men harnessing the horses. Harvest time was especially exciting.

When Hilda was four, her mother was killed in a tragic accident to which Hilda bore witness, a day she never forgot. As a result, Hilda’s sister Dena, nine years old at the time, became the mother of the family. Their father hired housekeepers as well, some stayed for about a year and others, shocked at finding themselves in a home with five children in the middle of nowhere with a pitcher pump in the kitchen and an outhouse, stayed for a day or two. Although he was very strict, Hilda was always grateful to her father for keeping the family together. Soon Dena, then Melba, and eventually Hilda, ran the house. Her father taught all his children to value other people’s property and feelings as well as the security of home and family, and to always do a job well.

Hilda graduated as the Salutatorian with the Class of 1942 at Connell High, moving on after high school, with a scholarship, to earn her teaching certificate at Eastern Washington College of Education (now Eastern Washington University). While she was still in high school, she met John Hoffman, a friend of her older sister. They hit it off and were married on September 30, 1944. The young couple settled in the Mesa area on his wheat farm. Once again Hilda lived the life she loved during her childhood, cooking huge meals for the hired men and harvest crews. Five of their daughters were born there.

In 1952, Hilda and John moved to Ellensburg when the Columbia Basin Project reduced the number of acres farmers were allowed in the Mesa area. Hilda came to love the Kittitas Valley and spent the rest of her life here, welcoming two sons and another daughter to the family before John was tragically killed in an automobile accident on October 24,1956.

In 1967, Hilda accepted a job with the Washington State Employment Department as an interviewer and later managed the Ellensburg CETA Center, retiring in 1982. While working she continued to maintain the home place and raised baby calves on the side.

In 1975, Hilda married Wilbur “Bill” Salter and Hilda’s family grew by three daughters, welcoming Bill’s children as her own. Bill was a timothy farmer and Hilda continued living the rural life she enjoyed, helping Bill on the farm. They traveled in their RV when they had time and blessed with 20 years together before Bill passed away in 1995. Hilda wrote once, after she and Bill moved back to her home place that, while not on the official Bed and Breakfast list, most weekends “The Bill and Hilda B&B” was in demand.

Hilda dedicated her life to taking care of her children, including serving as a leader for 4-H Sewing and Campfire Girls. She kept her children involved with piano lessons, dance classes, and plenty of animals. Horses were a big part of life, she hauled horses and children to horse shows and to the hills for camping trips. She was active in her church and community. She had a strong religious spirit and by her own example inspired her children to try to be honest, courageous, caring, accepting of others, hardworking, and understanding –but she also allowed and encouraged them to be themselves and set their own path.

She will be remembered for being funny with a quick wit, for opening her door to many, and for hosting many family gatherings and special occasion parties. She loved photography, nature, growing flowers, burning leaves, hiking, playing cards and board games. Two special loves were being with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and the little cabin she and her children built near Salmon La Sac. With a great zest for life she was always up for anything and didn’t miss an opportunity to travel with any one of adult children.

In 2009 Hilda was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Over the next nine years, her life changed. She never complained. Daughters Chris and Joyce moved in with her to help her manage her life, and they, with the help of the rest of the family cared for Hilda for many years with the help of Hospice. What wonderful loving caregivers the family found in this community when more home care help was needed. Their hearts are filled with love and gratitude for them. Shelly Morrell, was with Hilda her last years and to the end, and has the biggest heart in the world. For the last five months Hilda lived in Malibu House in South Cle Elum, always receiving love and tender care.

Hilda is survived by her children, Janette (Gaylen) Ringer of Ellensburg; Christina Hoffman of Ellensburg; Barbara (Brian) Bailey of Sequim; Sylvia (Mike) Lakey of Clarkston; Joyce Nooner of Longview; John (Charlita) Hoffman of Vancouver; Randall Hoffman of Ellensburg and Irma Grogan of Ellensburg; her “bonus children” Donna (Dan) Mullin, Diane (Gary) McDonald and Linda Roberts, her sister Melba Slaughter of Kennewick as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her husbands John and Bill; her parents and siblings Dena, Wes & Roy.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Ellensburg with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. The Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. Viewing will be all day Thursday also at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions in Hilda’s honor are suggested to Hospice Friends, 302 S. Main Street, Ellensburg, Washington 98926 or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Hilda’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com
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